Matthew 10:16-20. English Standard Version
16 “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17 Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, 18 and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. 19 When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. 20 For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
As the world becomes more anti-God we may become freightened or scared at the thought of facing persecution. There are many in the United States today who have lived under freedom and have taken it for granted. We may have faced persecution at some points, but many of our brothers and sisters around the world face persecution that we cannot fully comprehend.
But we may wonder if persecution comes to our door or into our lives, will we be able to stand? Will we have the words to stand up for Jesus and be faithful to the call and commission He has given us? The truth is that God has promised in His word that we don't need to fear what we will say or even if we will be able to stand. For it is the work of the Spirit of God in us that enables us to stand and speak for the Lord. It is The Holy Spirit who prepares us in advance and when that day and hour comes, it is the Spirit of God who enables us to stand for the Lord.
But intimacy with the Lord is key. We must daily abide in Christ. We must draw near to His presence and spend time in His word. God's desire is that we would meditate upon the promises of His word and that the Spirit of God would mold and shape our minds into the mind of Christ. Our journey with Jesus is about being transformed and molded into His image. When Christ came He modeled for us how He has called us to live. But what we learn from studying the life of Jesus is that in all that Jesus did, He did so by the leading and guidance of The Holy Spirit.
Jesus says that He is sending us out as sheep among wolves. Wherever we go there are those who are lost and don't know Jesus. There are those who will hate those who represent Jesus because they don't know Him and have been deceived by the enemy. Those who choose to stand for Jesus will face suffering and pain of some kind but even in the midst of the suffering and pain, God will use all things together for our good.
Many today may be attracted to what is known as the health and wealth gospel. It is a message of God's blessing but often doesn't speak of suffering or even the will of God. What it turns the gospel into is a self-centered message of what can Jesus do for me. How can Jesus bless me. Does Jesus desire to bless us, the answer is yes. Does Jesus bless the lives of those who follow Him, the answer is yes. But often God does His greatest work when we find ourselves in the midst of pain and suffering and we learn to trust God and hold fast to His word.
May we not fear what the enemy will throw our way. May we trust the Lord and know in the needed hour that the Holy Spirit will give us the words to speak. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells within us. This should give us great encouragement and hope to know in this journey we are on that we are not alone.
Father today I ask that you would lead and guide me. Help me in my weakness to be a witness for you. Fill me with your Spirit on a daily basis and remove all fear, doubt, and unbelief from my heart. Father have your way and may your will be done. In the midst of persecution, suffering, or pain may your strength be perfected in my weakness. In the name of Jesus, Amen!